Former Reds and Oxford striker is FPA guest on Saturday
On Saturday we're delighted to be welcoming back former Reds striker John Byrne as guest of the Former Players Association.
John is also a former Oxford United player so he is assured of a warm welcome from all sides of the ground!
After starting his career at York City, John joined top flight Queens Park Rangers in the mid-1980s, and was in their team which reached the Milk Cup Final in 1986, ironically losing to Oxford. He was also a part of Jim Smith’s Rangers side who finished fifth in the old first division in 1988, having lead the table early on.
After two years with French club Le Havre, it was back to England for a successful season with Brighton, and another trip to Wembley as the Seagulls just missed out on promotion to the top division, losing in the play-off final in 1991.
In a season and a half at the Manor Ground, he scored 18 goals in 55 appearances, prior to a final stop off at Brighton from February 1995 to May 1996. In 1991-92, he became famous for scoring in every round of the FA Cup as his new club Sunderland reached the final, only to lose to Liverpool. After a spell with Millwall, another stint at Brighton followed, before he signed for Oxford in November 1993.
He made an instant impact, scoring both goals in the first victory of the season at Nuneaton Borough, then further strikes in wins over Worcester and Dorchester. In all he scored six goals in 22 appearances. He came to the Reds ahead of our final season at Town Mead, when he was joined by ex-Albion team-mates John Crumplin and later on, Dean Wilkins.
There were international honours as well. John won 23 caps for the Republic of Ireland and was part of Jack Charlton’s squads for both the 1988 European Championships in West Germany and the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Please give John a warm welcome on Saturday.